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Used Motorcycles: Yamaha MT-03 buyers guide

By MCN -

 21 August 2009 11:54

Used price: £2,995 - £5,999
Engine: 660cc 4v single, 5 gears
Power: 45bhp
Top speed: 100mph
Weight: 174.5kg    

The Yamaha MT-03 is an uber-funky urban commuter and weekend scratcher. Unfortunately it only puts out 45bhp, but if you can get over that you'll be rewarded with a very fun and punchy single that handles like a dream, especially on bumpy city streets and backroads.

Whatever you do, don't buy this bike if you need to do motorway miles. The Yamaha MT-03's punchy 660cc single cylinder engine is taken from the XT660 - only it's had the fuelling issues sorted. It has bags of low and midrange torque, making it great for ripping around town and twisties, but there's not a lot of top end to speak of.

But the MT-03 is about the handling. The over-the-bars riding position and agility make it a blast to chuck around. Yamaha Fazer brakes haul it up sharpish and the suspension (though non-adjustable) is plush and soaks up bumps beautifully.

At a glance the Yamaha is well put together - the side-mounted shock looks tasty, as does the alloy swingarm. But there have been reports of issues with electrics and the standard chain apparently stretches easily. Check both when buying.

The Yamaha MT-03 comes with decent clocks, an immobiliser, a decent pillion seat and a catalogue of must-have accessories and aftermarket bits.

So much originality and style makes the resonably priced MT-03 seem like a bargain. You may love the way it looks, but get a test ride to make sure its enough for you. If you're after a stylish, punchy and fun bike, the Suzuki SV650S and Kawasaki ER6n deliver all of that for less money... plus they're capable of motorway miles and touring.

MCN verdict












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